Alicia Keys has plenty of kindly, uplifting advice on ''Alicia,'' her seventh studio album. ''Ove you free your mind/There is beauty in everything,'' she sings in ''Time Machine.''

In ''Authors of Forever,'' she counsels, ''We're all in the boat together/And we're sailing towards the future/And it's all right.''

She dedicates two songs, ''Underdog'' and ''Good Job,'' to hardworking everyday people, closing the album with lyrics that clearly apply to frontline workers during the pandemic : ''The world needs you know / Know that you matter.''

The album also revels misgivings, recriminations and regrets alongside Undiminished musicality. For each of her albums - as announced in titles like ''The Diary of Alicia Keys'' [2003], ''As I am'' [2007] and ''Here'' [2016] - Keys, 39, has insisted she is revealing herself further. 

In recent years, she has often appeared in public without makeup refusing to glamorize herself.

''Alicia'' arrives in the wake of her memoir ''More Myself,'' published in March. In her book Keys describes herself as an artist whose determination to make her own way has meant overcoming her instinct to please others.

''I am strong and fierce and brave, no doubt,'' she wrote. ''Yet I'm also someone who has found myself on the bathroom floor, boohooing and feeling vulnerable.''

Aspiration, self-esteem and strength, especially women's strength, have been central messages for Keys in hits like ''Superwoman'' and ''Girl on Fire'' in her songs and TV stints - lately as a coach on ''The Voice'' and the posed host of of the 2019 and 2020 Grammy Awards - Keys has defined herself as a benevolent big sister and an earth mother with a social conscience.

In 2001, when she emerged as a 20-year-old prodigy who was equally groomed in classical piano and vintage soul, she sang about the ups and downs of romance, but she also took note of a ''A Woman's Worth.''

She was only the second album when she c0-founded the nonprofit : Keep a Child Alive,'' which supports medical care in Africa and India, back in 2003.

Keys previous album, ''Here'', was pointedly topical, addressing poverty, addiction, sexuality and environmental destruction with her rawest music, stretching toward hip-hop and jazz and putting girl in her voice. 

She stays topical on ''Africa'' with ''Perfect Way to Die'' defying the chamber music arrangement with vocals that rise to tearful peaks as she sings about the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland and the protests that followed.

Keys reclaims most of her usual composure on ''Africa,'' but as it's often tinged with ambivalence, even in love songs. 

The music, largely produced by Keys with an ever0-changing assortment of songwriters and producers that includes Johnny McDaid, Christopher A. [Tricky] Stewart and Ludwig Goransson, often hollows itself out around her, opening deep pass chasms or surrounding sparse instrumentation with echoey voids.

The Honor and Serving of Latest Global Operational Research on Albums and Reviews, continues. The World Students Society thanks review author, Jon Pareles 


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